The Indiana group that organizes an Ohio River boat race and festival has seen its insurance costs more than double after three rescue divers were hurt in a crash during last summer’s race.
The Madison Regatta’s insurance bill has risen $15,000, contributing to an anticipated $25,000 loss for the July 6-8 event, The Madison Courier reported.
Regatta President Herb Parker said that loss is a “worst-case scenario” based on conservative revenue projections and not including any sponsorship money.
“We have enough cash reserves to cover it if it comes down to that,” Parker said. “So this is not a make-or-break type of situation.”
The three divers were badly hurt last year when a speed boat that had gone off course during a race ran into the rescue boat. The injured divers filed lawsuits against the Regatta that have since been settled.
Parker said the Regatta’s previous insurer dropped it because two of the injured divers hadn’t signed insurance waivers. The new insurance company is requiring all Regatta workers to sign a waiver before they are allowed on the event site, even if they aren’t going near a boat or the water.
“Now, we have to prove ourselves, and there are two things that we need to do to keep this insurance,” Parker said. “One, we can’t have an accident, and two, everybody needs to sign the waiver.”
The new insurer also decided that H1 Unlimited, the organization that puts on the hydroplane race, will have full control of the pit area around the boats and their crews.
“There will be new rules and we have no idea what those rules will be,” Parker said. “We have no say in it and we have to live with it.”
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